Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Movie Review -- Failure to Launch

Okay, first off. I really don't like Matthew McConaughay. I mean, really don't like him. He's not cute. He can't act. He plays the same, annoying, borderline-sexist pig in every movie. I'll admit that he looks good without a shirt, but that's about it. But I do love Sarah Jessica Parker. And while the premise of Failure to Launch -- a woman is hired to help an older couple get their 35-year-old son to move out -- is just plain stupid (ummm...make him move out? You're the parents, aren't you?) I was in the mood for fluff.

And what fluff it was. These people are as stupid as the premise itself, and the movie spent too much time exploring this stupidity (getting bit by a host of wild animals, for example) and not enough time exploring the characters. Which was a disappointment. I thought the characters had a depth to them, particularly SJP's Paula, that was barely touched on. Ultimately, the larger themes about intimacy and fear and misery were essentially glossed over for slapstick antics. Yes, it's a romantic comedy and not a drama, but the best comedies can (and in general, I'd say, should) expose real emotions, and I wish that this one would have. I loved when Paula said (paraphrased, obviously): It wasn't until I met you that I realized just how miserable my life is. This moment perfectly captures the fears that we all have about isolation and the refusal we often have to admit that these fears exist in the first place.

Perhaps the movie was trying to appeal to a broader audience -- instead of being a "chick flick" it gave us lots of typically "male" comedic moments (you know, chipmunk bites and rock climbing disasters). However, it fell flat for me, unfortunately, sort of like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days fell flat. Broader doesn't have to mean idiotic.

I give it 2 1/2 stars, mostly for some of the more real and touching moments between SJP and her roomie (played by Zooey Deschanel) . Wait for the video.


Blogger Miss V said...

Yes, I knew as soon as I read that Zooey Deschanel was in this...that she would be the only reason to watch it. Even though I do like SJP.

3:48 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

ZD is very funny. I loved her part and her screen presence.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

But did SJP have a great wardrobe at least?!

4:13 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Not really; she actually dressed rather plain and basic and normal (minus a couple of cute outfits). Definitely NOT Carrie Bradshaw!

4:15 PM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

I really don't like Matthew McConaughay either.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Miss V said...

ZD is on the cover of the new WWD Scoop. Just got my subscription copy this AM. I'm really happy about this what with all the Jennifer, Sienna, etc mag covers every goddamn month! Nice to see a fresh face!

8:55 AM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Miss V -- she's just very interesting looking, but I tend to like a touch of edginess, so her look is much more my speed.

eurobrat -- so nice to know I'm not alone!

2:21 PM  
Blogger zlatickogirl said...

I was actually going to go see this..PAY to see a movie in a THEATRE, which I loathe for various reasons, just becuase I like SJP and loved her recent movie The Family Stone. But now I may rethink that decision. I actually used to like MM, but recently found he doesn't wear deoderant so that killed that fantasy. I'll wait for the DVD and get it on Netflix.

7:41 AM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

HA! Well, I couldn't smell his stink during the movie ;)

I love to go to the cinema, but am rather selective, in general about what I'll see. This wasn't a wise choice, but at the same time, was what I needed at the time.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Miss V said...

Yeah...MM said on Oprah that he doesn't wear deoderant. YUCK!

My Muse...my new WWD Scoop had an offer for a FREE subscription so I'm sending it off for you! You will probably get your first issue May-ish. It doesn't come out monthly...Enjoy!

12:08 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

That's so thoughtful of you! Thanks!

3:33 PM  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

Hi Tessa,

I am southern and I must admit to kinda liking Matt Mc. Granted he acted like a nutter on Oprah, but he is OK--in a weirdly pompous high on pot kind of way.

I have no desire to see this movie. I do love SJP, but I will not look at her with bangs for 2 hours. The bangs are NOT GOOD SARAH!

3:46 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Yeah, I used to live in Texas, so I do see the appeal (he's not on my list of Creepy Men Whose Movies We Never Ever Want to See) but it's just not an appeal that appeals to me anymore!

3:48 PM  
Blogger zlatickogirl said...

Well..he's no Joaquin that's for sure!

8:24 AM  
Blogger chimera said...

Zooey Deschanel was the best thing about the movie. And I do actually like Matthew M, but not in this film. It was just... stupid. (Actually "like" is a bit of an overstatement - I just think he's cute.)

Even Kathy Bates was disappointing in this.

11:54 AM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

It's been so long since a really good romantic comedy was out there -- I think of something like When Harry Met Sally and how that was both funny (super funny) but also very revealing.

Now it's all just about contrived humor.

11:58 AM  
Blogger chimera said...

Best rom-com I've seen lately was Elisabethtown. Yes, it got panned by (most) critics but I thought is was a lovely movie about families and why they drive us crazy but we love them anyway, and loss and how we deal with it, and finding love. I do love Cameron Crowe. This is the man who gave us Lloyd Dobbler after all.

12:35 PM  

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